Okay, bottom line seems to be the Falcons are targetting a "coverage" FS for the upgrade this year in the draft. Pool and Bullock immediately jump out as strong possibilities. Most expect Pool to go somewhere between #15-25 in the first round, so it's even doubtful he'll be available at #27. Bullocks is probably a mid-to-late second rounder, but may not be there at #59.
So what happens if the top candidates are off the board? Do we reach for somebody? Here are seemingly the next best free safeties:
1. O.J. Atogwe, Stanford (5-11/220) - a big run stuffer that struggles in coverage, but he's smart and strong. He would be a candidate to play SS since he's mostly a run stopper. Most consider him a strong 2nd round candidate.
2. James Butler, Ga. Tech (6-2/215) - another guy that is a better run stopper than in coveage, but he has great size and the potential to play either FS or SS. A local product, so that's a plus. He could go as high as Round 3, but could fall as far as Round 5.
3. Sean Considine, Iowa (6-0/210) - he's a good all-around safety that doesn't make too many mistakes. Iowa has produced a number of safeties over the years, but few have gone on to be more than dime backs/special teams guys. Looks like a 3rd/4th round guy.
4. Mitch Meeuwsen, Oregon St. (6-3/215) - he's a sleeper prospect that is beginning to rise up boards. Good size and smarts, but seemingly is ranked low because he's not a great athlete. If he continues to move up, he coudl be a 3rd rounder, but most are projecting him at 5th/6th right now.
5. Dustin Fox, Ohio State (5-11/190) - a tweener at CB and S, most think he could make a good FS or decent Cover-2 corner. We'll see, but not many are saying he has loads of upside. Could be a late 3rd rounder, but more likely to be a 4th rounder.
6. Vincent Fuller, Va. Tech (6-1/190) - another tweener that has the plus of playing with DeAngelo. Concerns about him is how good can he be in run support?
Other 2nd day prospects:
Jim Leonhard, Wisconsin (5-8/190)
Marviel Underwood, San Diego St. (5-10/200)
Gerald Sensabaugh, UNC (6-1/215)
Justin Beriault, Ball State (6-3/205)
Matt Giordano, Cal (5-11/200)
Kerry Rhodes, Louisville (6-3/210)
At this point, I think I'd be happy with any of the 4 prospects listed, and Fuller. The 2nd day prospects sound promising, but none really jump out, and if you're drafting a starting safety in Round 4 or 5 or later, you're most likely NOT drafting a starting safety.
Right now I guess I'm just holding my breath for Meeuwsen. And it will be great if he goes in Round 4, allowing us to use our Round 2 and 3 picks on other positions that need help. Such as DT, WR, or CB.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.